I hope your 4th of July weekend was as fun and food-filled as mine was. We kicked off the weekend by heading down to Cherry Leaf Farm in Northfield to do some cherry picking.
Cherry Leaf Farm is still quite new. Owner John Porterfield bought the farm 6 years ago and after 2 years of research, he decided to plant 650 cherry bushes (yep, bushes, not trees) in an effort to produce a sweeter tart cherry that survives in our colder climate. Things really got rolling last year and the farm was opened for public picking. Even though I followed the progress closely, I missed picking last year so I was quite excited that the farm was ready for u-pick just in time for the holiday weekend (a couple of weeks earlier than last year).
To me, fruit picking is a little like eating Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop and in just under an hour, we had over 13 pounds in our tray. The bushes had plenty of ripe cherries to pick and the environment was incredibly peaceful. There was even a chicken roaming around greeting visitors. John and his family were welcoming, advising newcomers on which berries to pick, and inquired about what we planned to do with our bounty.
Cherry Leaf Farm will be open just one more day this season: Thursday, July 9 from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (or until picked out). I’d recommend getting there sooner rather than later for the best selection of sour cherries. They are perfect for lemonade, pie, cobbler, and just sweet enough to be eaten raw. Stay tuned for cherry recipes and don’t forget to buy a cherry pitter. You’ll need it! If you’re heading down to Northfield, you might also want to check out Little Hill Blueberry Farm – it opens on Wednesday!
Cherry Leaf Farm
9697 Decker Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057